Weird and Wonderful Indeed!

Weird and wonderful indeed

One of my girlfriends, Mini, married her college sweetheart, Jason, several years ago. Jason — the brain who designed this web site — is a twin. His sister Jen, and her husband Dave, are world travelers. They left for the Peace Corps not long after I did and also served in Africa. (Although they were far more successful.)
While I’ve never spent much time with Jen, Jason has told me more than once that we are kindred spirits. Our interests are similar — she is in love with Africa too — and we’ve created a friendship via email during the last year. She and Dave have been living in London, but just returned to Namibia, where they served as PCVs. While visiting, Jen pulled together the care package of a lifetime. I came home Saturday morning from the bagel shop to find a package from Africa sitting on my doorstep.
I pounced.

Care package from Jen and Dave

I have to say, hands down, this is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. The backstory is important to emphasize that I’ve never spent any real time with Jen, and yet, I swear she overwhelmed me with her kindness. The items she included from Namibia couldn’t have been more perfect.

bracelet from Namibia

Fabulous bracelet made by a women’s group in Namibia. It is made from PVC pipe, believe it or not. Love it!

close up of African fabric

Gorgeous fabric. I’m thinking a new nappy bag.

Namibia mask

My favorite is the mask. It is so different from the other African masks I’ve collected and the craftmanship is remarkable. It looks right at home on my mask wall.

mask wall

She also included a lovely “Welcome to a Better Life” postcard and bookmark, labeled weird and wonderful. I can’t wait to return the favor. Now I’ve just got to research what luxurious American things this austere expat may secretly covet and send them her way!


10 Replies to “Weird and Wonderful Indeed!”

  1. What an incredble package! I love the bracelet and the mask. The mask really does fit on that wall perfectly [great collection, may I add].
    So kind!

  2. I have some beautiful batik scraps I brought back from Indonesia. (I had some clothes made there and brought everything back in case I had an epiphany about what to do with them.)

    I don’t know how much material a wristlet needs, but if you’d like it, let me know!

  3. I too have one of those bracelets brought back by my daughter to add to my 3 other styles I got when I was in Africa. Those PVC ones are made by women to keep up a local art that has just about vanished because there is no longer carving on ivory. I also have a phone wire woven bracelet that is made in the same tradition as the elephant hair bracelets were.

  4. How cool is that, to make bracelets out of plastic pipe!!They certainly know how to recycle and make money in an unique way!! I just love african fabric, I recently had 2 bags from uganda, so colourful.

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